A reigning US cycling champion has died after being hit by a suspected drug driver while out on a morning ride with her husband.
Gwen Inglis, 46, was tragically killed on Sunday in Lakewood, Colorado, allegedly by an intoxicated motorist who drifted into the bike lane and knocked Gwen off her bike.
She was the reigning national champion after winning the 2019 US Masters road race championships in the 45-49 age group, and last raced on April 24 in the Rocky Mountains Pueblo Classic, finishing 8th. In a statement, USA Cycling paid tribute to Gwen’s exploits on bike and said she died in hospital of her injuries after being struck at around 10am on Sunday.
Her husband, Mike Inglis, 56, also a successful cyclist, was riding behind her at the time of the crash, according to police.
Suspect Ryan Montoya, 29, was arrested at the scene and charged with vehicular homicide involving driving under the influence. Detectives believe he was on drugs at the time of the crash, Lakewood Police Department have said.
Montoya was apparently returning from Central City where he had spent the previous, reports CBS Denver. Officers stated that his eyes were droopy and bloodshot when he was arrested.
Montoya allegedly told officers, according to the documents, that he drank and used marijuana the night before his arrest. He also admitted to using methamphetamine three days prior to the crash, the reports says.
Speaking to CBS Gwen’s husband, Mike, said: ‘It just hurts. Everything hurts, and it’s really enraging, beyond enraging, that in the state of Colorado it seems like people get away with lots of DUI’s.’
USA Cycling said in a statement: ‘We are saddened to hear about the tragic loss of Gwen Inglis. The Masters Road Race National Champion was hit by a driver on her training ride Sunday morning and later passed away at the hospital.
‘We are sending our thoughts to Gwen’s family during this difficult time.’
Gwen was a member of the Black Swift/Cycleton Cycling Team and had recently competed with the Stages Cycling Team.
The Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado, meanwhile, has said the state has lost of its best female road cyclists following Gwen’s death.
The association said: ‘There are few words that can express the feeling of loss for any of our cycling community, and Gwen was a particularly special person.
‘She was a multiple National and State Champion on the bike and very well known across the cycling community in Colorado. Even more impressive was her character off the bike.
‘Knowing Gwen, you would immediately be aware of her strongest qualities. She consistently brought joy into all her relationships, and she openly accepted everyone.’
Montoya is being held at the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond. He is charged with DUI, operating an uninsured vehicle, and vehicular homicide involving DUI.
It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney to speak on his behalf and he is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
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